No matter what environment you work in – a factory, office, or behind the wheel – it is important that you know how to protect yourself from injury. Employers across the country are tasked with the proper training of their staff members on a variety of safety topics, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Recent surveys of safety professionals have shown that worker compliance with PPE protocols was cited as the top workplace safety issue by all survey respondents.  Therefore, it is a good idea to actively educate yourself on the equipment that could keep you safer on the job. Here is what you need to know about PPE at your workplace.

What is Personal Protective Equipment?
Let’s start with the basics of PPE. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), PPE is equipment that people wear at work to reduce exposure to chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards.

What are examples of PPE?
Personal Protective Equipment will vary from occupation to occupation. For example, medical professionals will have easy access to gloves and gowns to protect them from bloodborne pathogens while forklift drivers will have quick access to a hard hat to protect them from head injury. Depending on your occupation, your PPE could include masks, boots, or even hazmat suits.

Where are the biggest problems with PPE non-compliance?

When it comes to compliance with PPE use protocols, eye protection was found to be the “most challenging” PPE category, according to 42 percent of respondents. Nearly three out of five workers who experienced eye injuries were found not to be wearing eye protection at the time of the accident or were wearing the wrong kind of eye protection for the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Hearing protection was another challenging PPE category.

What do I need to know about PPE?
In addition to knowing what PPE is available for your particular job, you should also know where the equipment is located, how to put it on correctly, how to use it, and when to use it. Your employer is responsible for training you on these topics. If you are unsure of the PPE in your office, talk to your supervisor about it.  Personal fall protection systems are a crucial subject that will be discussed in greater detail in a future blog.

What happens if I am still hurt in a workplace accident?
Even with proper use of PPE, you may still become injured in your workplace. In cases like these, it is imperative that you work with an experienced attorney who will help you to navigate the overwhelming waters of insurance and compensation. The team at O’Brien Law has experience on both sides of the aisle, and is committed to advocating for our clients in order to get the best outcome possible.

Give us a call to set up your free consultation today.